George Kenneth Griffey Jr. debuted on April 3, 1989, performing in the big league in Oakland, California. On the Seattle Mariners channel, it was proclaimed a historical moment, which would live on in the spectators’ memory forever. The athlete hit a double in the first match and several days later made his debut home run. They nicknamed him ‘Younger’ and ‘Kid’. The Mariners’ broadcaster appeared to be a prophet because Griffey became a star.
Ken Griffey’s Sports Career
The baseballer was born in 1969 in Donora, Pennsylvania. He shares a birthday with another Pennsylvanian and Hall-of-Famer, Stan ‘Stasiu/The Donora Greyhound’ Musial. His father was an astute outfielder (also Ken Griffey, but Sr.).
Ken Griffey Jr. started to play in the AL for the Seattle Mariners in 1989. In 1990, he performed on the field with his dad (as outfielders). This event remains an exception in MLB. The sportsman played over two dozen seasons in the League.
During vast majority of his professional life, he played with the Mariners and the Cincinnati Reds and also collaborated for a short while with the White Sox. They consider him one of the most known knock-out players. He also proved to be a good defender and received 10 Golden Glove awards among center-fielders.
They recognized the athlete as the ‘Skookum Universal Player of the 90s’. In the AL, he was successful in achieving perfect home runs in 1994, 1997 and 1999, he also made 56 home runs in 1997 and 1998. Ken did his jubilee 500th home run in 2004. He shared the record for MLB by the number of matches played in a row, in which they knocked out a home run.
Nowadays, the former athlete works in the management of the Seattle Mariners. They consider him an expert in the sport. In summer 2013, Griffey became the seventh person to be listed in the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame. As we mentioned above, Ken is a second-generation baseball player.
Achievements of Ken Griffey Jr.
The synopsis of his basic achievements:
- 13-time participant of the MLB star matches (the first time in 1990, and the last one – in 2007)
- Received the Golden Glove 10 times
- Achieved the 40-homer plateau in 7 games
- Awarded the Silver Slugger 7 times
- Most prominent sportsman of AL (1997)
- Most valuable sportsman of the match of all the stars of the US MLB (1992)
- Return of the year (2005)
- Won the HomeRun Derby 3 times (1994, 1998, 1999)
- Included in the MLB’s team of the century
In 2016, they balloted KGJ and then elected him to the Hall of Fame. The decision was almost consentaneous (over 99% votes).
Interesting Facts About Ken Griffey Jr.
Long ago, KGJ and his manager Lou Piniella started a dispute. The winner had to treat his opponent with dinner. Lou Piniella won, but instead of a steak, he found in his office an entire live cow. The way Ken delivered the animal to that place remains a riddle.
In 2016, the world-famous company Nike released Air Griffey Max sneakers, created in honor of the eminent player.
In 2017, Homer Simpson, the hero of the animated television series ‘The Simpsons’ was included into the Hall of Fame. They intended it to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the episode ‘Homer at the Bat’, where the Simpson’s team won. The series featured MLB characters, namely Roger Clemens and Ken Griffey.
Only once did a father and son play an MLB game and both knock out a home run. This happened in the competition against the Angels on September 14, 1990.
In 1989, Ken Griffey Jr. signed an iconic baseball card valued at $30–$40. Most likely, it costs much more now.
His wife is Melissa. They have two children, Trey and Taryn.
Did Ken Griffey, Jr. Use Steroids?
There are players who took steroids in baseball. These are guys like Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, and others. Although a particular baseball representative may not have gotten a positive result on an anti-doping test, indirect evidence remains convincing. However, there is a big group of players who, according to many fans, didn’t resort to prohibited substances to increase performance. But why do users exclude such a possibility? The main argument concerns the absence of a large musculature in such individuals. But the theory that all persons who take anabolic steroids develop big and awkward muscle is false.
Why then don’t people assume that Ken Griffey Jr. took steroids? He grew up inside the culture where it was normal to take pills to get the necessary advantage. In addition, during the first 11 years of his career, he was fairly persistent. Since the 2001 season, he has missed many matches because of injuries that could have been caused by anabolic steroid abuse. We hope that the sportsman didn’t use them. Reddit users also think so:
“He didn’t balloon to cartoon-like proportions throughout his career”, ” [he] never ballooned up the way the guys most commonly associated with it did”.
However, some people do not believe these anecdotes.